Don’t forget to upgrade to Windows 10

Today is the last day you can upgrade to Windows 10 for free.

Make sure you head over to https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10 to get your free upgrade to Windows 10!

Everything you need to know about Windows 10:

  • It was rolled out 29th July 2015 as a free upgrade
  • Windows 10 free upgrade ends on 29th July 2016
  • Enterprise users can manage company-wide rollouts
  • If you don’t take advantage of the free upgrade you can end up paying up to £100 to upgrade in the future
  • Microsoft Edge replaces Internet Explorer as Windows 10 default browser

 

Power problems with BT Services

BT Power problems are affecting lots of services

We have been made aware that since 07:45 this morning BT are experiencing power problems that are affecting many of its services . Engineers are currently onsite attempting to resolve this issue. 

Norwich Data Centre marks 10th Anniversary

UK Internet Service Provider FreeClix is celebrating its tenth anniversary of Data Centre operations at its Norwich facility.

The FreeClix Data Centre was founded in 2006 and was the first facility of its kind in the region. Considerable investment has been made in the last two years to upgrade the Data Centre. It is now provided with a fully N+1 redundant infrastructure, dual-fed substation with UPS autonomous power delivering 99.999% uptime since installation. It offers highly resilient Connectivity & Internet Transit from multiple carriers with separate points of entry. Its diversely routed BGP carrier network can provide internet transit speeds up to 1Gb.
The growing number of digital services used by UK businesses and local government has boosted demand for secure spaces for them to host their physical infrastructure including servers and storage equipment that run application servers and data virtualisation.

Managing Director Pete Freeman said “Businesses are increasingly recognising the need to guard against their data loss risk as part of their business continuity and disaster recovery planning. Using a data centre enables organisations to not only deliver their IT strategy into the future, by delivering the server and storage space needed but also reducing risk and improving energy efficiency strategies.”

The seemingly unstoppable rise in cloud based services which reduces the need for businesses’ own physical storage needs has not curbed the requirement for data centre space however. Pete explains “We’re actually seeing an increase in enquiries from organisations that need off-site disaster recovery or physical data centre space for legacy systems and services that can’t be migrated to the cloud.”

“It’s a fantastic milestone to have reached and we’re looking forward to the coming months in which we shall be launching our new self-managed hosting platform.”

The FreeClix Tier 2 Data Centre was the first data centre in East Anglia and is wholly owned and operated by FreeClix Limited. It is securely located in central Norwich for easy access 24 x 7 x 365.  Secure, resilient data centre solutions include colocation and hosting services, internet transit, secure data storage, virtual dedicated servers and network solutions. 

FreeClix is offering free installation up to the end of August 2016 to all new colocation customers (up to half a rack).

Data Centre Brochure-thumbnail  View & Download FreeClix Data Centre Brochure

Are all inclusive call packages really as good as they seem?

When it comes to looking for call packages, a primary business concern is finding the right package for the cheapest price. Often all inclusive packages look enticing with offers of unlimited calls, what’s not to like! However when you look further into the details of these ‘all inclusive’ packages they’re often not quite what they seem on the surface.

Quite often I am tasked with comparing our new customers’ phone bills against the FreeClix tariff and I am always surprised to see just how much money they’re being charged for setup fees. When looking at the so-called ‘all inclusive’ packages we tend to look at how many phone calls we can make before we get charged. However what we don’t seem to look at is the additional costs we can incur that aren’t part of our package.

The table below illustrates the setup fees incurred for calls from some of the biggest telecoms suppliers.

BT TalkTalk
Type of call Setup fee (p) Setup fee (p)
UK Local Call 8 6
UK Local Rate Call 8 6
O2 Mobile 8 6
Orange Mobile 8 6
T-Mobile 8 6
Vodafone Mobile 8 6
UK National Call 8 6
UK National Rate Call 8 6

At FreeClix we can offer you calls at up to 95% cheaper than BT. We don’t charge any setup fees and all our calls are billed on a per second basis, meaning you only pay for time you’ve used. For more information visit our Standard Tariff page.

Do you want a phone bill comparison? Email me at sales@freeclix.com for a free bill analysis and find out how much FreeClix can save you on your call costs.

 

Helping you to understand your business connectivity needs

Starting or running a business can be a daunting task and not everyone can be an expert on connectivity and communication products and needs. There are many things that need to be considered when starting a business for example:

  • How can customers contact and connect with you?
  • Do you want to take calls?
  • Do you need a website or email address?
  • Are you processing online orders?

With this in mind there are many different products that you will need to consider when setting up your business so that your customers are able to keep in constant contact with you.

Business fixed voice

A business fixed line is an important aspect for any business if you want your customers to be able to phone you. By having a landline number, it allows costs to be kept to a minimum for customers trying to contact you. A fixed line is a wired connection between your business premises and your nearest exchange with the most common example being a standard phone line.

Business mobile

Business mobile phones function in the same way as residential mobile phones, however business mobile pricing and tariffs may be more beneficial and come with additional support as part of the contract. Mobile phones allow businesses to still operate whilst on the move or away from the office and many providers are able to offer faciliaties and products that allow you to pick up phone calls to your office on your mobile phone (or vice versa).

The Ofcom interactive tool allows you to check the coverage of EE, O2, Three and Vodafone mobile coverage for any postcode in the UK. Witht his tool you can check voice and data coverage by operator, coverage inside and outside of buildings and information identifying areas where there are natural obstructions to coverage.

Business Broadband

Broadband allows you to connect to the internet, and allows for information to be carried at a high speed to your computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone or any other web enabled device. Broadband technology is the same for both residential and business customers however you may not always be allowed to use a residential package for business activity. Different types of broadband include:

ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line)

This is the most commonly available type of broadband, delivered through copper wires of your phone line. It is usually capable of up to 24Mbit/s. Speeds on ADSL lines will vary depending on how far away you are from the nearest telephone exchange. When looking at ADSL packages you must consider that is it says the package contains ‘up to’ speeds you may not get the fastest speed advertised. To find out what the line to your premises is capable of, ask the provider to conduct a speed test.

Cable Broadband

Cable broadband uses fibre optic and coaxial cables to deliver superfast broadband services as well as TV and phone services. Unlike ADSL speeds don’t tend to degrade with distance. Fastest cable broadband packages can offer ‘up to’ 200Mbit/s.

Fibre Broadband

Fibre broadband is delivered via clusters of fibre optic cables and has faster speeds than ADSL. There are two types of superfast fibre broadband, ‘fibre-to-the-cabinet’ (FFTC) and ‘fibre-to-the-premises’ (FTTP).

FTTC has fibre optic cables between the exchange and the street cabinet and then copper into your business premises. Speeds can be up to 76Mbit/s but speeds can still degrade over long distances. FTTP has fibre optic cables right into your premises and is therefore faster and usually capable of up to 1Gbit/s.

Business location: what’s available and where?

Connectivity is constantly improving in the UK, but for some rural business there may be service limitations. Most premises in the UK can get ADSL broadband over Openreach operated copper network (and from KCOM in Kingston upon Hull). Superfast services (cable and fibre) are being extended to an ever increasing number of business premises. See our blog post about choosing the right service and provider for more information.

How to choose the right telecoms services and provider for your business

Whether you’re in the early stages of setting up your business, or a well established business looking for a better deal, choosing the right service provider is an important decision.

A recent Ofcom article stated that 34% of businesses believe they don’t have the confidence to identify products and services that could benefit their organisation.

Determining what telecoms products and services your business requires is a business essential task so here are a few things you should consider when looking for your telecoms services and providers:

  • What services will you need?
  • Do you know what your current usage is?
  • Is it likely to stay the same  or change in the future?
  • Do you require any special allowances e.g. international calls?
  • Do you have any special requirements for your service e.g. speed?
  • How much does your budget allow to be spent on the services?
  • What level of service do you require e.g. time taken to fix an interruption to service?

Many telecoms providers can offer a wide array of products and services ranging from standard basic services, right through to bespoke technical products. Wherever you are in the UK you will find telecommunications providers who are able to offer you business contracts. With the continued improvements in the UK’s communications infrastructure, it is becoming much easier to now conduct business remotely.

Finding a provider

The Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) is the body that is delivering the government plan to extend Superfast broadband. Informationa regarding Superfast projects can be found using the Superfast Projects map.

It is important to note that not all providers offer products with a SLA for service availability, meaning that from time to time there may be temporary downtime in your service.

Many providers sell both residential and business products and services and it is important to determine  what product will best suit your needs. If you are a business considering a residential tariff you will need to check the terms and conditions carefully. Often there can be advantages in using products that are specifically tailored to business use. For example, landline products will often come with improved service levels and priority customer service.

Data and broadband connections: what do you need?

Your data or broadband requirements will usually depend on what kind of business you are. It’s best to discuss with your provider to ensure you needs are met, but here are a few things to consider that may be important to your business:

Online presence?:

For sole traders and small businesses, either basic ADSL fixed broadband (typically up to 24Mbit/s) or mobile broadband may be sufficient if you have minimal data needs.

Digital sales and e-commerce:

Are you running an online shop? – if it’s a low demand service, a basic connection will suit, if you’ve got intensive usage needs, superfast broadband through Fibre (typically up to 76 Mbit/s) or Cable (which typically provides up to 152 Mbit/s) might be best. Consider back-ups too.

Connected employees?:

If you’re running an office where everyone needs to be connected, you’ll probably require a Superfast product along with over the top VoIP, video-conferencing and hosted services.

Heavy data user?:

May require a more tailored product such as Ethernet or Leased Lines. Look out for products with symmetric service and enhanced SLAs.

Design, production, manufacturing?:

You may want a FTTP connection (up to 1GBit/s) to allow for rapid data transfer. Low latency and jitter may well be crucial.

If you’re a new business looking for first time connectivity or an established business looking for a change, why not get in touch with us here at FreeClix, we provide guidance and expert knowledge to get you connected with the most suitable telecoms products and services for your business.

Call us today on 01603 703340

Important Virus Update from Ubiquiti Networks

Source: Ubiquiti Networks

In recent days, Ubiquiti has seen virus activity taking network devices offline. In most cases, devices are reset to factory defaults. In other cases, devices are still operational, but inaccessible. The virus is using an HTTP/HTTPS exploit that doesn’t require authentication. Simply having a radio with out-of-date firmware and having its HTTP (port 80)/HTTPS (port 443) interface exposed to the Internet is enough to get infected.

Ubiquiti takes these threats seriously and has created a patch and an Android app to diagnose and fix the problem. To check your devices and remove the virus, please use the removal tool.
Note: The tool has the ability to upgrade airMAX M series devices to airOS® v5.6.5, which completely disables custom script usage.
If a device is inaccessible, TFTP recovery will be required to reset it to factory defaults.
For further discussions, check Ubiquiti’s community page  
or contact its support team

Would you replace your password with a ‘trust score’ on Android?

Would you replace your password with a ‘trust score’ on Android?

Would you trust Google and Android to access your hardware?  It leaves me feeling uneasy to be honest, even though you’d have further security in place before accessing banking apps etc.  Still, just a look and a GPS location doesn’t feel enough to me at this point to let people in…

“Google wants to replace your password with a ‘trust score’ on Android.
The search engine giant is swapping passwords with facial recognition and location data.  Google’s plans to replace traditional passwords with ‘trust scores’ could reach Android developers by the end of the year, the company revealed at its I/O conference.  The tech giant has been working on switching from conventional passwords to its Trust API for around a year, and has now revealed it will roll out the tool to several banks starting from June.”

Read More

Focus On: Office 2016 apps with Office 365

The best way to get Microsoft Office 2016 is with an Office 365 subscription. A Microsoft Office 365 subscription allows you to keep your apps up-to-date and use them across devices. Get a free trial now.

Office 2016 delivers experiences built for teamwork, such as:

  • Skype for Business in-app integration is now available across the rich client apps, allowing you to IM, screen share, talk or video chat right in your docs.
  • Real-time co-authoring in Word, which lets you see what others are writing as it happens.
  • Keep teams connected with Office 365 Groups, which allow individuals to easily self-form public or private teams with a shared inbox, calendar, file repository, and notebook.

Get a free trial of Office 365 

 

Office 2016 apps with Office 365 provide the most secure Office ever, with more flexible deployment:

  • Data Loss Prevention has been built in to significantly reduce the risk of leaking sensitive data by giving IT admins tools to centrally create, manage, and enforce policies for content authoring and document sharing.
  • Multi-factor Authentication allows you to securely access content anywhere – even when away from the corporate network.

Here are some new features in Office 2016 that might make you more productive:

  • Outlook 2016 provides the smartest inbox yet, delivering lightning fast search, removing low priority mail automatically, and making sure everyone on the To: line has the right access with cloud-based attachments.
  • Tell Me helps me easily and quickly find the right Office feature or command, and Smart Lookup bring insights from the web right into my documents.
  • Excel 2016 now includes integrated publishing to Power BI and new modern chart-types to help me make the most of my data.

 

Collaboration is the way we get things done in the workplace. Microsoft set out to make collaboration easier and more fluid by building a suite of integrated apps and services designed to remove the barriers that limit progress and empower teams to do and achieve more.

FreeClix joins The Cyber security Information Sharing Partnership (CiSP)

FreeClix are proud to be a new member of CiSP. The Cyber security Information Sharing Partnership (CiSP) hosted by Cert-UK is a joint industry government initiative to share cyber threat and vulnerability information in real time.

As a supplier of cyber security services for the Crown Commercial Services in the new Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework, FreeClix is committed to meeting the challenges of Cyber Security. As an active member of CiSP Freeclix can contribute to and learn from the thousands of other security professionals brought together to share knowledge and better protect the UK industry.

Members of CISP have access to an online collaboration tool that provides a trusted and functional environment for industry and government to share confidential cyber threat and vulnerability information, best practice and appropriate mitigation’s. As a CiSP member we are also able to receive network monitoring reports. This service allows us to receive tailored feeds of information from CERT-UK covering any malicious activity that we see on your network.